It may have been an almighty clash at Croke Park for Dublin and Kerry, but for Amy and Bernard it symbolized the union of a very special love…
A surprise engagement at the couple’s favourite restaurant in Temple Bar sparked the theme for their wedding at Clontarf Castle Hotel on September 18th 2015. During dinner, Bernard produced an early Christmas gift for his soon-to-be fiancée – a very unique half Kerry and half Dublin GAA football jersey!
“I wasn’t sure why he would have randomly got me one, so I turned to see the back and spotted ‘Mrs Kenealy?’ written across the back. When I looked up from the jersey he had a token ring placed on the table! We enjoyed some champagne and spent the night in the Clarence Hotel where Bernard had booked us into the penthouse suite as a surprise so we could go to Appleby Jewellers early the following morning to pick out THE ring!”
“Our wedding date dictated our theme in a way. Being from Kerry and Dublin we wanted our wedding to be on All Ireland Weekend – it was a bonus we got the final of Dublin and Kerry on the Sunday!”
Of course, subtle tributes to Dublin and Kerry featured throughout the day. The iconic county colours were used during their hand-fasting ceremony and a fun jersey photo as their guestbook.
Keeping things traditional, the bride’s aunt Lorraine crocheted cute cake toppers, her mum Carole made the couple’s wedding cake and her sister Louise handmade their invitations.
Amy wore an effortlessly pretty fifties style gown from Memories Bridal in Temple Bar. “I had a clear idea of what I wanted and Victoria chose dresses that although weren’t exactly what I wanted they could be altered. I bought a dress there and then and on Victoria’s recommendation went to see Nicole in Sew Creative in Donnybrook where she took the dress apart and remade it into the exact dress I was looking for. I cannot recommend this process with Nicole enough. Each alteration was done step by step, no rushing until I had my perfect dress! My birdcage veil was kindly made especially for me by one of my friends Edel Ledwith.”
“We had some small requirements when it came to our wedding venue – and Clontarf Castle Hotel ticked all the boxes and more for us. One was location as we had a lot of foreign guests flying into Dublin and wanted them to have a short journey from the airport. As we were planning a civil ceremony, we also wanted a hotel that could cater for this in a separate room to the main reception area as we wanted people to feel they had some movement and a change of scenery during the day. We also wanted a venue with some character and a good reputation for wedding planning to take all the stress away so we could enjoy the lead up. Clontarf Castle Hotel was our first and only venue to view. After we met our coordinator Marianne, we were sold! The location was perfect for all those travelling. We got exclusive use of The Viking Suite for our ceremony which the hotel had beautifully decorated, drinks reception in the very snazzy Indigo Lounge and our reception in The Great Hall. On entering Clontarf Castle it just feels magical and we both love going back there regularly since!”
“We met our photographer Suzanne of Circus Photography on a miserable January night. She welcomed us into the studio and we just gelled with her immediately. We had a very relaxed and no fuss chat with her and from the very beginning she understood exactly the kind of vibe we wanted on the day including some quirky shots. Suzanne also arranges an engagement shoot before the wedding if you wish. We originally thought that wasn’t for us but it was great fun and a great way to get to know Suzanne and most importantly, what we liked and disliked!”
“My highlight was walking down the aisle and seeing Bernard’s face when he turned around for the first time. I knew he would have been very, very, nervous and I was just looking forward to seeing him and starting the celebrations! It was also really important that we got to just take 20 minutes alone just to chat and enjoy a glass of champagne before joining our guests.”
Huge thanks to Amy and Bernard for sharing their special day with us. You can see more of their photographer Suzanne’s work at www.circusphotography.com